Intro to Wheel of Time

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is probably my favorite fantasy series.  Since some of my friends on facebook are asking me for the audio, I am doing this post as kind of a gateway to his thought.

While in many ways it is your typical “Hero fights dark lord from taking over universe,” it is far beyond that.  It raises questions dealing with Possible Worlds theory (shades of Plantinga!).

Is it hard to get into? Not really.  The prologue is kind of misleading but it makes sense 8 books later (kidding!).  The prologue takes place 3000 years before the present moment.  It is at the end of a cataclysmic war and the Dark Lord’s lieutenant is goading the then-hero (known as “the Dragon”) into doing something rash.

And then the book goes back to the present day and the hero Rand al’Thor.

Why should you read the book?  Because o the character Mat Cauthon.  Mat is one of Rand’s childhood friends and he is about as perfectly written as one can be.

Notes on Schilder’s Christ and Culture

by Klaas Schilder, 1890-1952.

Translation of Christus en Cultuur

ISBN 0-88756-008-3

The numbers represent the sections in the book.

(2) The Christian must engage culture because we are prophet, priest, king. It is our task.

(3a) Part of our difficulty is that we deal in abstractions when we speak of “church and culture.”  The cultural ideal cannot be a master key that opens any door we want.

(3c) Whenever we come up with programs like “Christ and x” or “Christ and y,” we almost always devalue both.

(3e) What is culture? Must we go to the world’s culture-philosophers for a definition?

(4) Schilder indirectly critiques Kuyper here.  He notes those who want to promote Christ in “all areas of life.”  He argues that it is a big leap from “law of nature” (the direction of a certain sphere) to the specific sovereign in that sphere.

(6a) Part of the difficulty in “Christianity and culture” is that “Christianity” is an abstraction.

(7) Schilder’s reading of Revelation posits a struggle between the Seed of the Woman and the seed of the serpent.

(8) Jesus is not a “concept” for culture.  He cannot be abstracted from his work and atonement.  We cannot isolate “Jesus” from “Christ.”

(9) The church has often abstracted the four gospels from the larger narrative.

(10) Jesus didn’t give us anything about a theory of the arts.

(11) We gain knowledge of our cultural task from the office of Christ.

(12) Not everything Christ does is meant to be imitated.  His office is his office alone.  We must first see the justice flowing from Christ’s office before we see it imitated in the marketplace.

(13) A Two Adam Christology can help us here.  The first Adam’s task involved the creative unity of cultural work.  Christ, as Second Adam, takes up the first Adam’s office.

(14) thousand years: the dominion of peace in which Christ equips his office-bearers.

Schilder: As the Logos-Mediator-Surety He is the hypostasis, the solid foundation, the original ground, the fulfiller, redeemer, and renewer of culture—a cultural sign which shall therefore be spoken against.

Translation: the debate between Christ and Culture can only happen on Christ’s terms.

(15b)  Covenant: God’s speaking to Adam was of mutual relation of promise and demand. The Second Adam recapitulates the dominion order of the First Adam.

(16) Covenant and Culture: man’s covenantal role is to cultivate the earth.  The world God made must unfold.

(18) Common grace:  it is true that sin is being restrained.  But by similar logic the fullness of Christ’s eschaton is not fully experienced.  Apparently, it is restrained.  If the first restraining is “grace,” then we must–if one is consistent–call the restraining of the blessing “judgment.”

Schilder then advances the argument that “development” and “corruption” belong to nature, not grace.  They are temporal.  And if it is nature, it can’t be grace.  Hence, it can’t be “common grace.”

NB: Schilder comes very close to a nature-grace dialectic.

Key argument: There is indeed “common” grace in culture (grace for more than one person). But there is no universal (or general) grace for all men. Therefore Abraham Kuyper’s construction was wrong. There is indeed also a “common” curse in cultural life (a curse shared by more than one person). But there is no universal (or general) curse. “Common” can sometimes be the same as universal, but it is not necessarily always so. Something can be common to all people, but it can also be common to more than one person, not to all. In the present scheme “common” is intended to mean: shared by many, not by all people. There is a common (not: universal) grace in culture, as far as the redeeming work of Christ is shared by all those who are His—which grace has an effect upon their cultural achievements.

Bottom line:  common grace is common to the elect, not to all.  They share the common grace in culture.

(19) Yet Christ’s person, in taking upon humanity, is connected with culture. There is grace, but it is not a lowest-common denominator common grace.  These gifts are eschatologically tied to Christ’s purpose.

(20) God is holding back both the full manifestation of Satan and the full manifestation of a godly culture.

(21) On Antichrist:  real, future figure.

(24) Conclusion: To establish koinonia in the sunousia, as members of the mystical union of Jesus Christ, that is Christian culture.

(25) “First of all, we must emphasize that, since there is a cultural mandate that existed even prior to sin, abstention from cultural labour is always sin.”

(26) Common grace revisited: our cultural mandate is common command, common calling, not common grace.

(27) Nature, too, has a history.  Christ is guiding that history.  By implication, he is King of the World.

(28) Some conclusions: One’s awareness of his office will always urge him to turn to the revelation of God’s Word, in order to learn again what the norms are.

 

Alexander Pope: Selected Poetry

Pope ranks third behind Shakespeare and the King James Version of the Bible when it comes to familiar lines in our language.  This addition of Pope, while not having all of his poems (it lacks the Essay on Man), does have several masterpieces, notably Essay on Criticism and the Rape of the Lock.  

Rape of the Lock

This is very near to the perfect piece of poetry.  Indeed, what glory could have come by writing a true piece of heroic poetry in this style?! C. S. Lewis once said that reading Spenser is to grow in mental health.  I suggest something similar with Pope: to read him is to be healed in one’s moral imagination.  The following scene is poetry at its finest:

While thro’ the press enraged Thalestris flies,
And scatters death around from both her eyes,
A Beau and Witling perish’d in the throng,
One died in metaphor, and one in song:
60 ‘O cruel Nymph! a living death I bear,’
Cried Dapperwit, and sunk beside his chair.
A mournful glance Sir Fopling upwards cast,
‘Those eyes are made so killing’—was his last.
Thus on Mæander’s flowery margin lies
65 Th’ expiring swan, and as he sings he dies.

Epistle to a Lady (on how not to be a thot)

In satirizing the English upper class, Alexander Pope predicted our Kardashian, Katy Perry style America:

“The wit of cheats, the courage of a whore
Are what ten thousand envy and adore.”

Why pique all mortals, yet affect a name
A fool to pleasure, yet a slave to fame.

The Dunciad

This was hard reading.  Pope doesn’t quite rise to the glorious couplets of Lock.  I think too much is lost in introduction and exposition.  Further, even then, it isn’t always clear who his target is.  Nonetheless, Book IV comes very close to the prior glory.

Conclusion

Reading Pope is like feasting on beams of golden light.  When you read Pope you hear the golden trumpet and see the bright light.

 

ePistemologian’s Progress

Courtesy to Bunyan,

This list was taken from Craig and Moreland (2003): 627-639.  It’s a specialized list of technical works in philosophy and theology.  The theology section was kind of soft, so I didn’t spend too much time transmitting those titles.  I only listed works that a) are in LC’s library or b) I otherwise must have, assuming they weren’t in LC’s library. I started this list in 2014.

I hope to have this finished by 2020.

This list doesn’t include a lot of previously read philosophy (Coplestone, Gilson, Bahnsen, Van Til et al)

Books that have an (*) by them are books I’ve added to Moreland’s list.

Chapter 1: General Philosophy; History of Philosophy; basic issues

*Coplestone, Fr. History of Philosophy (about four volumes). (read)
*Russell, Bertrand.  A History of Western Philosophy (read).

Chapter 2: Logic

Lewis, David. Counterfactuals (reading).

Chapter 3: Knowledge and Rationality

BonJour, Laurence. In Defense of Pure Reason.
Pojman, Louis. The Theory of Knowledge.

Chapter 4: The Problem of Skepticism

Slote, Michael.  Reason and Scepticism (1970).

Chapter 5: The Structure of Justification

Audi, Robert.  Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction (1998). (Read)
Chisholm, Roderick. The Theory of Knowledge.

Chapter 6: Theories of truth and postmodernism

Groothuis, Douglas.  Truth Decay.  (Have read); mostly fantastic, but DG has since rejected the presuppositional outlook in this book.

Willard, Dallas.  “How Concepts Relate the Mind to its Objects: The God’s Eye View Vindicated?” Philosophia Christi, 2nd ser., vol 1, no.2 (1999): 5-20. (read)

Chapter 7: Religious Epistemology

Alston, William.  Perceiving God (1991).
Plantinga, Alvin.  “The Foundations of Theism: A Reply.”  Faith and Philosophy 3 (1986): 298-313.——————.  Warrant: The Current Debate. (read)
——————.  Warrant and Proper Function (read).
——————.  Warranted Christian Belief (have read).
Plantinga, Alvin, and Nicholas Wolterstorff.  Faith and rationality (have read).
*Wolterstorff, Nicholas.  Reason within the Limits of Religion. (read)

Chapter 8: What is Metaphysics?

Chisholm, Roderick.  On Metaphysics (1989). (read)
*Hasker, William.  Metaphysics (1983) (read)
Plantinga, Alvin.  The Nature of Necessity (1974). (read)
van Inwagen, Peter.  Metaphysics (1993). (read)
Loux, Michael.  Metaphysics. (read)

Chapter 9: General Ontology: Existence, Identity and Reductionism

Craig, William Lane, and J. P. Moreland, eds. Naturalism: A Critical Analysis (2000).
Suarez, Francis. On the various kinds of distinctions.

Chapter 10: General Ontology: Two categories–property and substance

Chapters 11 and 12: The Mind-Body Problem

Kim, Jaegwon.  Mind in a Physical World (1998). (read)
Moreland, J. P.  and Scott Rae.  Body and Soul: Human Nature and the crisis in ethics. (read)

Chapter 13: Free Will and Determinism

Fischer, John.  The Metaphysics of Free Will. (1994).
Kane, Robert.  A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will (2005).
Rowe, William.  Thomas Reid on Freedom and Morality (1991). (read)

Chapter 14: Personal Identity and Life After Death

Hick, John.  Death and Eternal Life (1976).

Chapter 15: Scientific Methodology

Moreland, J. P.  Christianity and the Nature of Science (1989).

Chapter 16: The Realism-Antirealism Debate

Chapter 17: Philosophy and the Integration of Science

Chapter 18: Philosophy of Time and Space

Craig, William Lane.  God, Time, and Eternity: The Coherence of Theism II.
———————–.  Time and Eternity: Exploring God’s Relationship to Time.
Einstein, Albert.  Relativity: General and Special Theories. (read)

Chapters 19-22: Issues in Ethics

Beckwith, Francis.  Politically Correct Death.
Geisler, Norman.  Christian Ethics: Issues and Options. (read)
*Feinberg, John and Paul. Ethics for a Brave New World (2010) (have read)
*Holmes, Arthur.  Ethics. (read)
Pojman, Louis.  Ethics: Discovering Right from Wrong.

Chapters 23-24: The Existence of God

Barrow, John.  The Anthropic Cosmological Principle.
Beck, David.  “The Cosmological Argument: A Current Bibliographical Appraisal.”
Craig, William Lane.  The Kalaam Cosmological Argument.
Craig, WIlliam Lane and Quentin Smith.  Theism, Atheism, and Big-Bang Cosmology.
Denton, Michael. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.
Ganssle, Gregory.  “Necessary Moral Truths and the Need for an Explanation.”
Hackett, Stuart.  Resurrection of theism.
Hume, David.  Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.
Martin, Michael.  Atheism: A Philosophical Justification.
Rowe, William.  “Circular Explanations, Cosmological Arguments and Sufficient Reason.” (read)
Vallicella, William. “On an Insufficient Argument Against Sufficient Reason.”

Chapters 25-26: The Coherence of Theism.

Adams, Robert.  “Divine Necessity”
Craig, William Lane.  God, Time, and Eternity: The Coherence of Theism II.
Creel, Richard. Divine Impassibility.
Hasker, William. The Emergent Self.
Helm, Paul.  Divine Commands and Morality.
Leftow, Brian.  “God and Abstract Entities.” (read)
Molina, Luis de. On Divine Foreknowledge
Nielsen, Kai.  Ethics without God.
Plantinga, Alvin.  Does God Have a Nature?  (read)
————–.  “How to be an Anti-Realist.” (read)
Wolterstorff, Nicholas.  “Divine Simplicity.” (read)
* ——————–.  Divine Discourse (1993) (read)

Chapter 27: The Problem of Evil

Hick, John.  Evil and the God of Love
Plantinga, Alvin.  God, Freedom, and Evil. (read)
Rowe, William.  “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism.”

Chapter 28: Creation, Providence, and Miracle

Craig, William Lane.  “Creation and Conservation Once More.”
Freddoso, Alfred.  “The Necessity of Nature.”
Helm, Paul. The Providence of God.
Hume, David. “Of Miracles.” (read)
Morris, Thomas.  Divine and Human Action.
*Strobel, Lee. ed. The Case for a Creator.
Suarez, Francisco.  On Creation, Conservation, and Concurrence.

Chapter 29: Christian Doctrines (I): The Trinity

(see other sources)

Chapter 30: Christian Doctrines (II): The Incarnation

Bayne, Tim. “The Inclusion Model of the Incarnation: Problems and Prospects.”
Freddoso, Alfred. “Human Nature, Potency and the Incarnation.”
Morris, Thomas.  The Logic of God Incarnate. (read)

Chapter 31: Christian Doctrines (III): Christian Particularism

Harassing the Hobgoblins: Intro to Analytic Theology

I am not an expert in analytic theology, and I have been critical of analytic philosophy in the past.  Nonetheless, it can be useful in clarifying concepts.  One problem is that people jump into the deeper waters, reading countless computer symbols and the analytic guys never bother to clarify what’s going on.  I’ll try.

Beginner

McCall, Thomas.  Introduction to Analytic Theology.  It is what the title says. He introduces some key concepts but doesn’t really get beyond Leibniz’s Law.  Still, anything McCall writes is worth getting.

Moreland, JP.  Love Your God with all your Mind.  What would it look like if you applied analytic reasoning to the development of the soul?

Morris, Thomas V.  Our Idea of God.  He doesn’t call it analytic theology, but it is an early essay into how it is done.  Wonderfully accessible.

Nash, Ronald.  The Concept of God.  Kind of a simplified version of Plantinga’s Does God have a Nature?  Some great responses to open theism.

Clark, Kelly.  Return to Reason.  This is the unsung volume in apologetics.

Intermediate

McCall, Thomas.  Which Trinity? Whose Monotheism?  Not primarily analytic theology, per se, but it is a great application of analytic theology.

Crisp and Rea, Analytic Theology: New Essays.  Some outstanding essays, some bleh.  Sadly, Rea, Wolterstorff, and possibly stump have surrendered the field on sexual ethics.

Craig and Moreland, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview.  Somewhat technical, but simply grand.

Moreland and Rae, Body and Soul.  Outstanding defense of substance dualism.  Moreland writes with Kingdom Power.

Moreland, JP.  Kingdom Triangle.  Triangulates (sorry) analytic theology with continuationist theology.

Morris, Thomas V. Logic of God Incarnate.  Rescues Christology from the contradiction charge.  Several very important concepts introduced.

Plantinga and Wolterstorff.  Faith and Rationality.  Almost as important historically as it is philosophically.

Richards, Jay Wesley. The Untamed God.  Introduces modal concepts and show where they advance beyond Aristotle.

Advanced

Kripke, Saul.  Naming and Necessity.  Some technical chapters, but a mostly accessible work on language and possible worlds.

Lewis, David.  Counterfactuals.  Very difficult, but Lewis does walk you through his method, so it is readable.

Plantinga, Alvin. Nature of Necessity.  One of the most important philosophy works in the last century.  Possible Worlds matter.

———–.  Does God Have a Nature? Plantinga got accused of denying simplicity in this book.  I never saw where he did so.  Great primer on how to do analytic theology.

———–.  Warrant and Proper Function.   Clears up a lot of (perhaps deliberate) misunderstanding on what Plantinga means by “warrant.

———.  Warranted Christian Belief.  Application of his previous two books.

Table Contents for Dugin’s Heidegger

I received Martin Heidegger: The Philosophy of Another Beginning by Alexandr Dugin in the mail.  One of the reasons I put off buying for so long is I had no clue what was in it.  I could not find anywhere on the internet (in English, anyway) the table of contents.  Now, for the first time in English anywhere, here it is:

cropped-heidegger-dugin.jpg

Preface to English Edition                      |           3

Part 1 —Seyn und Sein                        13

I.  Meeting Heidegger: An invitation to a journey            | 15

II.  Being and Beings                                                                   | 41

III. Fundamental Ontology                                                        | 53

IV. Das Seynsgeschichtliche                                                      | 67

V. The beginning and end of Western European Philosophy   | 91

VI. Heidegger’s anthropology of Seynsgechichte                        | 127

VII. ANOTHER BEGINNING (DER ANDERE ANFANG)                 | 141

VIII: SEYNSGESCHICHTE AND POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 159

IX. NOT YET                                                                                            | 177

X. HEIDEGGER AS A GREAT MILESTONE                                      | 185

PART 2: DAS GEVIERT                                                                  | 189

I. AN INTRODUCTION TO GEVIERT                                                  |191

II. GEVIERT AS A MAP OF THE BEGINNING AND A RETREAT FROM IT | 233

III. GEVIERT INTO ANOTHER BEGINNING                                       | 273

DASEIN                                                                                                    | 281

I. THREE STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT IN MARTIN HEIDEGGER’S PHILOSOPHY | 283

II. DASEIN AND THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY (FROM THE FIRST BEGINNING TO THE END OF PHILOSOPHY)                                                                             | 291

III.  DASEIN AND THE EXISTENTIALS                                                        | 313

IV. INAUTHENTIC REGIME OF DASEIN’S EXISTENCE                     | 345

V. AUTHENTIC DASEIN                                                                               | 363

VI.  ZEIT-TIME AND ITS HORIZONS                                                         | 379

CONCLUSION: HEIDEGGER AND THE STATE OF PHILOSOPHY           | 387

POSTCRIPT                                                                                                        | 393

GLOSSARY                                                                                                             | 395

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                                                               | 425

INDEX                                                                                                                    | 447

ABOUT THE AUTHOR                                                                                         | 465